Precast Bridge Girder Details for Improved Performance

Many bridges on the local highway system need replacement. Local governments rely on the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) to help replace the deficient bridges. With limited resources, SDDOT can only help replace about 30 bridges statewide each year, causing a backlog of local bridges in need of replacement. The current standard bridge used in these replacements is the double tee precast girder bridge for its relatively low construction cost, outsourced design, and short construction duration. The expected design life of these bridges was 50 to 70 years, but some built less than 40 years ago already need replacement. The most common problem is that longitudinal joints become damaged over time, most likely due to inadequate shear transfer between the girders, allowing water and debris to enter the joints. It is only a matter of time before the joint begins to spall, creating a path for moisture to reach the prestressing steel, initiate corrosion, and degrade the structural capacity of the bridge. It should also be noted that the double tee should be designed for girder continuity, often achieved by a reinforced concrete overlay or transverse posttensioning. Many local bridges are not designed for girder continuity, however, resulting in longitudinal joint deterioration and a non-redundant structure.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $160000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Federal Highway Administration

    Department of Pavement Technology, HIPT-10
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC    20590
  • Project Managers:

    Kline, Robin

  • Performing Organizations:

    South Dakota State University, Brookings

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Brookings, SD  United States  57007
  • Principal Investigators:

    Wehbe, Nadim

  • Start Date: 20120101
  • Expected Completion Date: 20161231
  • Actual Completion Date: 20180123
  • Source Data: MPC-439

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01497113
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Mountain-Plains Consortium
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT12-G-UTC08
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Oct 30 2013 1:00AM